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not-so-rolling books thread

Discussion in 'Kayo Dot' started by xfer, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    i made one, then someone else (sam?) made one, and neither are easily findable, unless i'm missing the search feature. but over the past couple of weeks i've been booking it up.


    the life of pi by yann martel--critics who called it "lite" are not entirely wrong, but it's a good book. it emulates some of the ideas of divinity i have long had, so it didn't change anything or "make me believe in god" as it claims. lacks verisimilitude at parts. good twist at the end. decent writing. several STUPID spelling errors ("racked with pain" and "over the gunnel" are two which memorably come to mind, although "gunnel" might be a neo-okayism) which makes me think the editor didn't spend much time going over it because he figured it would be a beach book for "common folk", so i was disturbed by its condescension.


    the lion of boaz-jachim and jachim-boaz by russell hoban--from the writer of one of my favourite books of all time (riddley walker), this book is based on the gospel of thomas and promised to be really phenomenal. it turned out to be only pretty good, probably largely because it got very metaphysical and tough to understand, but also partially because the writing at times is a bit self-conscious and forced.


    the qur'an by god--i read this in college, and i'm about halfway through it now. it's tough to read the arabic version i have because it's written in thulth and i can only really understand the simple baby writing (qarim, or something like that?). pretty interesting. it's a phenomenal book in the same way the bible is--namely, it's infinitely interpretable. i can read a section that condemns those who drive muslims apart and apply it to insurgents in iraq trying to foment sunni-shiite war, but an insurgent could read it and apply it to westerners to broke the caliphate centuries ago and continue to occupy arab lands. there's soooo much that agrees with the jewish and christian scriptures and honestly i haven't found much i don't believe that isn't also present in those scriptures. notably however, i'm really disturbed by the running tone of anti-feminism which exceeds the other texts, and i can only explain it by thinking that god probably directed this toward a culture that was exceedingly anti-feminist and was "speaking their language".


    moby-dick by herman melville--i remember thinking this was a great book in high school but still having trouble getting through all parts of it, esp. the parts where they just list the contents of the ship. but i'm over a hundred pages in this time around and it's fucking amazing. soooo referential to pretty much ALL of western cultural history, comic, action-packed, and tons else!


    couple others comin' down the pike, too.
     
  2. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    oh, pretty much all my reading recently has been really religious/scriptural-based. dunno why. it's interesting to read all this stuff at once and compare and contrast, though.
     
  3. Reanna

    Reanna Technicolor Orgasm

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    I just started a "paranormal romance" book by Lynsay Sands called "Single White Vampire." I really like it so far. but I cant say much about it, since im only on page 67
     
  4. minxnim

    minxnim meow

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    i just reread 'never let me go' by ishiguro and it's such a cute sad book.
    i also just read invisible monsters
     
  5. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    i read life of pi a few months back, i liked it. was worth it just for the end, and the multi-religion thing was cool. bengal tigers, of course, kick ass.

    dune
    really digging it, even the dry economic bits are pretty fun. better than the movie so far, but that's generally the case so i'm not surprised.

    sand county almanac
    this is one of my "car books" in that whenever i'm in the position to drive somewhere and have to wait for some appointment, i bring it in with me and read a handful of pages. a little pompous at times, but still very good.

    war of the worlds
    i don't know why i'm forcing myself to read this, i remember liking his style way back in high school but i can't make it through an entire chapter without groaning. about halfway done in 6 months, so now i'm on the downward slope at least.
     
  6. FrostGiant

    FrostGiant Mr. Pibb > Dr. Pepper

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    I'm working on the last Dark Tower book. Then I have to read Doyle Brunson's Super System.
     
  7. LuminousAether

    LuminousAether My name is Distance

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    I'm reading a few books:

    Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

    I'm only 9 pages in so no real comments yet, but it's already starting to grip me. Seems like it will be a very good book.

    Secret Life by Jeff VanderMeer

    Short stories written by this fantasy author. It's very etherial and other-worldly. Almost whimsical at times, extremely gloomy at others. There's also some very far future sci fi stories, a la Gene Wolfe / Jack Vance. I'm getting near the end of this one.

    Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan

    Book 6 of the Wheel of Time. This one is quite interesting, I am nearly 700 pages in so it's picking up for the climax. If you like epic fantasy, you already know this series.

    The Knight by Gene Wolfe

    Haven't actually started this one yet (well, I did, but it was a couple weeks ago, and I've since started a couple others), because I own it and the rest are from the library. It looks like it will be amazing though, like all Gene Wolfe books. He's the best living fiction author, easily.

    and

    Candide by Voltaire

    Haven't started this one yet, but I will shortly. It's very short, so I'll probably finish it in a day or two.
     
  8. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    candide is great, funny stuff.

    i'm also busying myself with a lovecraft collection, never read him until recently. good stuff.
     
  9. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    i dunno, i thought the multi-religion thing had potential but in actuality was a bit forced. "JESUS MARY MOHAMMED AND VISHNU!" etc. maybe it's because it's something i agree with spiritually (ba'hai style) and is done slightly differently than i think it should be and so it makes me cringe a little--you know how sometimes you can come into conflict with someone that you're 99% similar to more than someone who you're 25% similar to? i guess i was hoping it was much more present in the book (he makes a big deal out of religion and then doesn't mention it at all for like 70 pages, and he rarely if ever exemplifies someone living their life by the qur'an and the bible at once, and the hindu stuff is played up for its vegetarian aspects but not much else).

    war of the worlds is a great book! it has the same kind of semi-archaic style "problems" as lovecraft, but that's half of what's great about those authors nowadays. i love how plotless lovecraft is, just crazy descriptions and tangential thoughts and antiquarian language and everything.

    i wanna check out murakami--wind-up bird chronicles and all that.
     
  10. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    i don't know why i can't get into war of the worlds, over the past year i've been reading lots of classic science fiction and have loved it, that one just... blah.

    the religion thing was more worth a chuckle than anything, probably because yeah it was pretty much dropped as soon as possible. completely understand your 99/25 comparison though. honestly my favorite part was waiting and waiting for richard parker to talk the entire time. :)

    probably going to read the satanic verses again very soon, was thumbing through it a little last night remembering how awesome it was. maybe should read another new-to-me rushdie first, but if not, no biggy.
     
  11. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    i've never read satanic verses; perhaps after i finish the qur'an i'll give it a go.
     
  12. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    last night: Habibi by naomi shihab nye

    one of the two books selected as summer reading for my students-to-be (by the other teacher). a "young adult" book intended to get them interested in reading more than having intrinsic literary value, of which it has little to none. it's about an american girl whose palestinian father decides to move back to palestine with his whole family, so she's plunged into a new world and meets a jewish boyfriend and gets treated poorly by israeli soldiers and finally makes the jews she meets understand how evil they are. pretty biased, in other words. i wonder how much context of the conflict the kids already have and if they'll be savvy enough to recognize the bias?

    Fahrenheit 451

    the other book they were required to read. i've actually never read this book before. i read The Martian Chronicles and concluded that ray bradbury is not a very expert writer. i'm about halfway through this book and it's decent, poor writing but some good basic ideas for the kids to think and talk about.
     
  13. avi

    avi W3RK3R

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    I'm reading "Our band could be your life" which is a history of 80s punk/indierock. The writing can be kinda dire/overwrought at times, but the stories are worth telling. Equally inspiring and depressing.

    I also started to read a collection of Gogol short stories, but put it aside for the time being. My tiny pea-brain couldn't handle it.
     
  14. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    I finished up Dead Souls a month or two ago--don't remember if I posted about it or not--and my God, the second volume is so fucking fragmentary.
     
  15. avi

    avi W3RK3R

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    I have a tremendous desire to hear Minor Threat and Big Black after reading their respective sections in my book.

    The rest of those slacker indierockers can fuck right off.
     
  16. minxnim

    minxnim meow

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    dead souls is a great book.
    i'm going to start reading gravity's rainbow again this week mostly because i am secretly a self hater or some shit.
     
  17. goatschool

    goatschool Member

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    i got suckered into reading OBCBYL and i hate that period of my life. i can't tell you why i did it except that it was for a gender that's not my gender. how pathetic is that, and why don't you make a thread about reading for other people's sake, alex? i mean, you ARE all about control and methods of, right?
     
  18. minxnim

    minxnim meow

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    has anyone ever read 'the floating book'?
    this shit is GOOD
     
  19. goatschool

    goatschool Member

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    that sounds asian.
     
  20. minxnim

    minxnim meow

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    i tried to read a book about nirvana because i <3 that band but there were so many typos it was driving me insane.
     

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